Matthews: You Might Not Agree With Me But...


The Seattle Mariners have activated Robinson Cano after he served his 80-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.

The Mariners, battling for a spot in the American League’s wild-card playoff game, plan to play Cano regularly at first base, second base and designated hitter.

But he’d be ineligible for the postseason. That’s ridiculous. He’s served his time. Making him sit after possibly helping Seattle reach the postseason wouldn’t be fair to the team, the team’s fans or to Cano.

+++Jim Furyk has refused to commit to Tiger Woods as one of his four captain’s picks for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. What’s he waiting for. It’s an insult to Tiger that he hasn’t already been selected. After all he has been through physically, he deserves better.

+++St. Louis Cardinals Matt Carpenter, after a horrible start this season (he entered May batting .155 with 2 HRs and 10 RBI), has been the hottest hitter in the National League and at his current pace merits serious consideration for league Most Valuable Player (although I’m not sure he’s even the MVP of his own team – catcher Yadier Molina is pretty important). Right now, my MVP frontrunner is versatile infielder Javier Baez, who leads the NL with 89 RBIs and is a Gold Glove-caliber fielder wherever he plays.

+++If the Bills figure rookie quarterback Josh Allen can’t possibly be ready to start Week 1 of the regular season in Baltimore, one reason I’d prefer AJ McCarron over Nathan Peterman as temporary starting QB is that he’d worth more in trade than Peterman if and when Allen is ready to play this season.

+++NBC and NBCSN will carry 109 NHL games this season. That’s good. The Buffalo Sabres will make only five appearances – all on NBCSN and none on NBC. That’s not good. The Sabres were the league’s worst team last season – and three of the past five years – but they’re going to be much more fun to watch this season.

+++The Boston Red Sox are 86-35 and must go 31-10 in their 41 remaining regular-season games to become the first MLB team to win 117 games. I don’t think they can do it because they’re due to cool off a bit and the stars figure to get some games off down the stretch to rest for the postseason.

+++If I had a ballot right now for American League Manager of the Year, I’d split in down the middle for Boston rookie skipper Alex Cora and Oakland’s Bob Melvin. On Opening Day, the Red Sox had the No. 1 player payroll in MLB ($235.65 million) and the A’s were 30th ($68.53 million).


Oakland beat Seattle 3-2 Tuesday night and is 17-6 since the All-Star Game break to close within one game of Houston in the American League West.

The slumping Astros lost 5-1 at home to Colorado. The Astros have lost five straight games and really miss injured second baseman Jose Altuve. Rockies star third baseman Nolan Arenado made his first MLB start as a designated hitter and said he hated it. He managed to hit his 30th HR of the season despite being bored.

Seattle’s Robinson Cano played in his first game since serving an 80-game suspension. He started at first base and was 1-for-4.

Boston hit two home runs in a 2-1 victory in Philadelphia. The Red Sox have 168 HRs this season – the same number of HRs they had last season when they had the fewest in the American League. Boston is 20-3 in its last 23 interleague games. Rick Porcello is 15-5 and tied Max Scherzer and Luis Severino for the most wins in MLB.

The Yankees tied their season-best +33 over .500 (75-44) with Tuesday night’s 4-1 home win over Tampa Bay. J.A. Happ is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA and the team would be in bad shape without him now.

The Orioles beat the Mets 6-3 to “improve” to 36-84. Chris Davis was 2-for-4 with his 15th HR of the season and boosted his batting average to .162. Davis and Adams Jones have homered in the same game 43 times, the most among active teammates.

Cleveland is 14-4 in its last 18 road games after an 8-1 win in Cincinnati. Jose Ramirez hit his 36th HR, one behind MLB-leader J.D. Martinez.

Milwaukee beat the host Cubs 7-0. Ryan Braun hit two HRs. The Cubs have been shut out nine times this season.

St. Louis won its seventh straight game, 6-4 at home over Washington. The Cardinals are 18-9 for new manager Mike Shildt, who replaced the fired Mike Matheny. Yadier Molina started his 22nd consecutive game, a MLB record for a catcher 35 or older. He’s hit .306 in that span.

Atlanta beat visiting Miami 10-6. Rookie Ronald Acuna Jr., 20, became the youngest MLB player ever to hit home runs in five straight games. After leading off both games of a doubleheader with HRs Monday, he had two more HRs Tuesday night. In 24 games since moving to leadoff, Acuna is hitting .358, with 25 runs, 11 HRs and 24 RBI...The Braves are 13-4 in their last 17 games...Miami is 2-13 in its last 15 games. Christopher Bostick (Aquinas) had a pinch-hit RBI double for the Marlins Tuesday night.

Arizona beat host Texas 6-4. The Diamondbacks lead MLB with 98 runs in the first inning.

Miguel Sano had his first haircut in three years and then hit a 2-run HR in Minnesota’s 5-2 home win  over Pittsburgh.


New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will have a new left tackle protecting his blind side this season – the NFL’s largest player. Trent Brown is 6-foot-8 and 380 pounds.

Chad Kelly, Jim Kelly’s nephew, has been promoted to No. 2 on the quarterback depth chart of the Denver Broncos. He switched spots with Paxton Lynch.

New Bills wide receiver Corey Coleman was one of the stars of HBO’s second edition of Hard Knocks with the Cleveland Browns. Coleman was upset that he was demoted to second string and suggested to head coach Hue Jackson that he be traded. He was – to Buffalo for a seventh-round draft pick.

Joe West, in his MLB-record 40th season as an umpire, worked his 5,163rd game Tuesday night to tie Bruce Froemming for second on the all-time list. The leader with 5,375 games is Hall of Famer and Rochester product Bill Klem.

The National League continues to lead the American League in interleague play this season – 125-110 (+15). The AL has won the interleague series each of the past 14 years.

A baseball autographed by 11 of the 12 original inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame sold for $623,369 at auction last weekend. That’s a record for a baseball. The signatures included Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Cy Young, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson and Connie Mack. The only missing signature is Lou Gehrig, who was too sick to attend the 1939 induction ceremony in Cooperstown.

The starting lineup for the Red Wings in a 2-1 loss at Columbus Monday night included batting averages of .216, .212, .205, .199, .178 and .176. That was pretty sad.


Wednesday, August 15

Jarrod Dyson (34)...Oliver Perez (37)...NASCAR Carl Edwards (39)...Kerri Walsh (40)...Martin Biron (41)...Freddie Solomon (46)...Eric Bieniemy (49)...Scott Brosius (52)...Bubby Brister (56)...Gary Kubiak (57)...Kenny Carr (63)...Tom Kelly (68). Jennifer Lawrence (28) and Ben Affleck (46) are invited to the birthday party.

Thursday, August 16

Delino DeShields (26)...A.J. Bouve (27)...Ryan Kerrigan (30)...Carey Price (31)...Yu Darvish (32)...fencer Felicia Zimmerman (43)...Eric Swann (48)...Ben Coates (49)...Ed Olczyk (52)...Christian Okoye (57)...Craig MacTavish (60)...Sam Cunningham (68)...Ivan Boldirev (69). Rumer Willis (30), Steve Carell (56), Madonna (60) and James Cameron (63) are invited to the birthday party.


August 15

73 years ago (1945), Gillette bought World Series radio rights for $150,000. Ford had been the sponsor since 1934 for $100,000 per year...70 years ago (1948), Babe Didrikson Zaharias won the U.S. Women’s Open by 8 strokes...66 years ago (1952), in the 19th NFL Chicago All-Star Game, Los Angeles beat the College All-Stars 10-7 before a crowd of 88,316...54 years ago (1964), Ralph Boston set the then world long jump record at 27 feet, 3 ½ inches...29 years ago (1989), Dave, Dravecky of the San Francisco Giants, in his second start since cancer treatment, broke his pitching arm throwing to Tim Raines...25 years ago (1993), Nolan Ryan won his 324th and final game...19 years ago (1999), Tiger Woods won the PGA Championship by one stroke over Sergio Garcia.

August 16

98 years ago (1920), Cleveland’s Ray Chapman was beaned by Carl Mays of the Yankees. He died the next day...82 years ago (1936), the Berlin Summer Olympics ended...70 years ago (1948), Babe Ruth died of throat cancer at age 53...64 years ago (1954), Sports Illustrated magazine began publishing...53 years ago (1965), the first AFL expansion franchise was awarded to the Miami Dolphins...15 years ago (2003), 18-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo made his debut for Manchester United...19 years ago (2008), Usain Bolt won the gold medal in the 100m in a new world-record 9.69 at the Summer Olympics.

Bob Matthews' Column

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